Scenario Essay

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Using the two scenarios below, apply the below 4 steps in a paper of 600-800 words per scenario.

Evaluate each argument, using the four-step process described on pp. 197-198, regarding soundness of reasoning (truth and validity).

Explain your assessment, and add alternative argumentation where necessary.

Format your assignment according to appropriate course level APA guidelines

References must be provided.


2 Scenarios

1) The credit card habit promotes careless spending, particularly among young people. Therefore, credit card companies should not be permitted to issue credit cards to anyone under age 21.

2) Drug dealing should not be a crime because it does not directly harm others or force them to harm themselves.




4 Step Process

1)State
your argument fully, as clearly as you can. Be sure to identify any hidden
premises and, if the argument is complex, to express all parts of it.

2) Examine each part of your argument for errors affecting truth.
(To be sure your examination is not perfunctory, play devil’s advocate and
challenge the argument, asking pointed questions about it, taking nothing
for granted.) Note any instances of either/or thinking, avoiding the issue,
overgeneralizing, oversimplifying, double standard, shifting the burden of
proof, or irrational appeal. In addition, check to be sure that the argument
reflects the evidence found in your investigation and is relevant to the pro
and con arguments and scenarios you produced earlier.

3) Examine your argument for validity errors; that is, consider the
reasoning that links conclusions to premises. Determine whether your conclusion
is legitimate or illegitimate.

4) If you find one or more errors, revise your argument to
eliminate them. The changes you will have to make in your argument will depend
on the kinds of errors you find. Sometimes, only minor revision is called
for—the adding of a simple qualification, for example, or the substitution of a
rational appeal for an irrational one. Occasionally, however, the change
required is more dramatic. You may, for example, find your argument so flawed
that the only appropriate action is to abandon it altogether and embrace a
different argument. On those occasions, you may be tempted to
pretend your argument is sound and hope no one will notice the errors.
Resist that hope. It is foolish as well as dishonest to invest time in refining
a view that you know is unsound.

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